Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Monitor's Report Critical of Actions By Orthodox Jewish Majority On East Ramapo NY School Board

The New York Times reported yesterday that a state-appointed monitor has delivered a report to the New York State Board of Regents sharply critical of the East Ramapo (NY) School District board.  A majority of the East Ramapo Board's members are Orthodox Jews. In the district, Jewish yeshivas enroll around 24,000 students while the public schools enroll 9,000 students, predominately Black and Latino. Public school parents complain that the Board gives increasing financial aid to yeshivas, while cutting public school budgets. The special monitor, Hank Greenberg, essentially agreed, saying:
What I have found is that you have a board deeply influenced and informed by the community from which they’ve come — so concerned about the children of that community that it has blinded them to the needs of the entire community,
His report calls for more state funding, accompanied by a new law that would provide for a fiscal monitor with the power to overrule decisions of the school board and superintendent. East Ramapo school board president Yehuda Weismandel issued a statement (full text) responding to the monitor's report.